KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – The race to Mars has already begun, and with the opening of the new Astronaut Training Experience®
(ATX) at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this December, guests will be the first to
“touch down” on the Red Planet. The all-new Astronaut Training Experience will use immersive
simulation technology to transport participants to Mars, train them to live and work in the
harshest environment, and teach them what it’s like to travel to the Red Planet, using real NASA
science to address engineering challenges.
Astronaut Training Experience will boast the most high-tech, hands-on activities available at
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex through two distinct programs: Astronaut Training
Experience, for which Training Segments will be available to guests as of December 18, and
Mars Base 1, which opens in January 2018. Astronaut Training Experience will provide an
opportunity for visitors to train like an astronaut preparing for a mission to Mars. Mars Base 1
will provide participants with a chance to live on Mars for seven hours, as “rookie astronauts,”
while performing base operations along with real science experiments and engineering tasks.
“We’re offering something that most people thought they would never get to do in their
lifetime,” Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex said.
“For anyone who has wondered what it would be like to feel like an astronaut, to train like they
train, face the challenges and issues they have to work though while under extreme pressure,
Astronaut Training Experience and Mars Base 1 is now available to everyone.”
Upon entering the Astronaut Training Experience Center, guests will be surrounded by ambiance
that replicates actual astronaut training techniques and experiences. A sleek design, realistic
signage and sophisticated technology provide a sense of authenticity. Excitement builds as
participants are handed life-like badges and special-issue t-shirts to immerse them in the
program, and their assignments, which are led by expertly trained educators – their “Trainers”
and “Lab Chiefs.”
Through the programs and associated assignments, participants will work together by taking on
specific roles to address challenges and solve problems:
In the Astronaut Training Experience program, groups of up to 24 will simultaneously work in
multiple training areas that will replicate astronaut training of the future. Trainees will attempt the
same physical tasks of the actual astronauts who will travel to Mars, by working within reproduced
environmental scenarios, such as the Land-and-Drive-on-Mars full-motion simulator, Walk-onMars
virtual reality, Launch Mission and Spacewalk Training.
Mars Base 1 provides the ultimate simulation of not just traveling to Mars, but living and
working there for an entire day. Offered to individuals and groups, the mission begins with a
“transport” to Mars. At three different stations within Mars Base 1, participants will be assigned
real-life challenges that require analytic thinking, communication and collaboration. For
example, in the Mars Engineering Lab, “rookie astronauts” will design and test a program that
allows a team of robots to efficiently clear debris from a photovoltaic panel, restoring maximum
solar power to the Base. They will also partner with scientists working on NASA’s Food
Production by planting, harvesting, and analyzing vegetables and plants as they gather data in a
series of controlled experiments taking place in the Mars Botany Lab.
Now located among the other attractions at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and offered
as an add-on to regular admission or purchased separately, Astronaut Training Experience
activities are designed with a focus on problem solving, communication and collaboration,
making them ideal for team building in an interesting and inspirational environment. Programs
will range from 30- and 45-minute experiences easily added to a Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex day, to a few hours or two, three- and five-day camp programs, providing the
opportunity to participate based on interest level and specific educational needs.
“The new Astronaut Training Experience Center is the most interactive and technologically
advanced experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said Protze. “ATX and Mars
Base 1 bring the future of space exploration to life. Guests looking to get as close to Mars as
possible without actually becoming an astronaut will be able to have that opportunity at the new
Astronaut Training Experience Center.”
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program,
offering a full day or more of fun, inspiration and educational activities. Highlights include
Heroes & Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, the
Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V
moon rocket, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX® A Beautiful Planet
3D and Journey To Space 3D films, Astronaut Encounter, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted,
Science on a Sphere®, Rocket Garden, Cosmic Quest, and many other exhibits.
Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing
times varying by season. Please contact our office to purchase your discount Kennedy Space Center tickets TODAY!